Journals: Natalia - Denmark

So I have been in Denmark for 5 days now and I still can’t believe that I am in another continent starting my year long journey. Even though it has been challenging at times, I am absolutely loving it here. I started at Kolding Gymnasium (KG) this past Monday and I am already having such a great time. Getting to know my classmates and being welcomed into the school by getting “sut” written on my forehead (which translates to pacifier in English) and have a lei put on me as well as going through a fun obstacle course was a fantastic start to my days at KG. I am in the Pre-IB class which means all of my classes are in English instead of Danish and I have classmates that have either studied abroad before or are interested in doing so. It’s great to be surrounded by people that want to pursue the same interests as myself and they are very willing to help me learn Danish as well. I've always heard that Danes are very qu ite and reserved compared to Americans, and even though this is true, once you get to know them they are the best people in the world to be around.

Today I had a very fun class called “Folkedans” where you learn how to do traditional Danish folk dances. In a gym consisting of all of the first year students at KG and it was probably my favorite class because a lot of my classmates including myself had no idea what they were doing and it was all taught in Danish so even though I didn't comprehend the majority of what was spoken, I was able to pick up a few words here and there. In other news, the house that I am staying at in Denmark is very beautiful and very Danish, and it is already feeling like home. I love my host family and the city I live in called Almind and just about everything here. The weather is pretty warm for Danish summer weather and I’m trying to enjoy every second I can because soon it will be much colder and darker! I suppose I’m in the “honeymoon phase” of my exchange as of now, but I know that even in the days ahead when things get a bit rocky, I will be constantly reminded that I am getting a once in a life time experience that I will surely not take for granted.

I am so thankful that Rotary has given me this opportunity because I wouldn’t be able to experience anything like this on my own. I was also able to attend a Rotary meeting this past Monday and I got the chance to introduce myself as well as thank the club for what they have done as my sponsor Rotary club. Since it is a club that meets for dinner, I had a very traditional Danish dish that consisted of pork, potatoes and gravy which was all so great to have and a bit different compared to a normal dish in the U.S.. I am noticing many differences here in Denmark and it's quite eye opening to be in a new place while truly immersing yourself. I can’t wait to share more about my adventures in Denmark in my next journal as I am embracing this exchange with open arms. Vi ses!